Here are the highlights for February 2017:
* On February 3, we took the deposition of the witness designated by King County (Seattle, Washington) to testify on its behalf in our lawsuit filed against the County on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), and its founders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. We sued the County on First Amendment grounds for refusing to display AFDI’s “Faces of Global Terrorism” ad, which featured terrorists listed on the FBI’s most wanted list. The County rejected the ad because it was allegedly “demeaning” toward Muslims.
*On February 6, we filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review an important case involving the censorship of a Christian public school teacher. The case is Silver v. Cheektowaga Central School District.
* On February 7, we responded to and opposed the CAIR/ACLU motion asking the court to compel our clients, the owners of an Oklahoma gun range that refused to serve a member of CAIR because of CAIR’s ties to terrorism (CAIR/ACLU are claiming that this is religious discrimination) to “amend” their discovery responses. CAIR/ACLU want our clients to deny CAIR’s ties to terrorism and “admit” that the evidence does not exist. We refuse to do so. Indeed, it would be a lie to do so.
* On February 10, 2017, a federal judge sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York issued an important First Amendment ruling in the civil rights lawsuit we filed against several officials from the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY-Buffalo). The case is captioned Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. Black. The judge denied the University’s motion to dismiss, concluding that our legal claims against the University for allowing counter-protestors to disrupt our clients’ free speech activity can go forward.
* From February 19 to February 22, AFLC Senior Counsel Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi traveled to California to commence a trial in the case of Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. (CBR) v. The Irvine Company. We are representing CBR in this pro-life speech case. Upon arriving at the courthouse, we learned that the judge was out for the two days the trial was to take place, causing us to have to postpone the trial (we had contacted the court the Friday before we travelled to California to confirm that everything was all set, and we were told by the court that out trial would start promptly on time! A typical California-bureaucratic waste of time . . . .). The trial is rescheduled for June 19.
* On February 20, AFLC served objections to the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ draft pretrial statement in CAIR v. Gaubatz, et al. Often referred to as the Muslim Mafia case, CAIR sued Dave and Chris Gaubatz after Dave Gaubatz published the results of his son’s covert internship with CAIR in the book Muslim Mafia. AFLC’s clients, the Center for Security Policy and certain of its employees, were also sued insofar as the original impetus for the covert internship was a CSP documentary on the Muslim Brotherhood in America. The parties are preparing for a trial, likely sometime in early 2018.
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